By Lincoln G. Peters
A human rights group under the banner Rural Human Rights Program (RHRAP) has cautioned political parties and individuals against lawlessness during the run-off, stating that election is not war.
Mr. Lorma Baysah, Executive Director of the group recently addressed a major post-election press conference, presenting findings of the 10 October 2023 polls to the National Elections Commission (NEC).
Baysah urged all political parties and individuals to maintain their peaceful election posture.
“RHRAP calls on all Liberians including political parties to be reminded that elections are not war, we are all under obligation to fully respect the rule of law, fundamental human rights, and democratic values,” Baysah said.
He noted that the U.S. has said that sanctions await those who are and will be involved with the obstruction of Liberia’s democracy.
He also made recommendations to the National Elections Commission. Mr. Baysah cautioned the NEC to improve and speedily provide to the Liberian people the results of the run-off election.
According to him, the delay in providing the election results contributed to speculation with disinformation and increased tension between all parties.
” We recommend that the NEC should include the electoral district, precincts, and polling place codes in the result that will be announced during the runoff which clearly shows where the votes were received by each candidate,” he stated.
Mr. Baysah further indicated that the bulk results that were announced, make it difficult to compare the results quickly and easily with the tally sheets provided to the parties to the election.
The Rural Human Rights Program boss also stated that based on the percentage of invalid votes received in the amount of 114,597, indicates that adequate education and awareness were not prioritized by the NEC and the government.
“As we prepare for the runoff, RHRAP is kindly appealing to the NEC and the International Community to fund civil society organizations to quickly engage in awareness activities on how to vote before the runoff to reduce the huge percentage of invalid votes across the country in the runoff,” he pleaded.